Micki Free

Turquoise Blue
Micki Free
Micki Free: Marie Gregorio-Oviedo.

Grammy winner Micki Free’s latest is loaded with rockin’ badassery. With influences ranging from Billy Gibbons and Carlos Santana to Jimi Hendrix, the former Shalamar guitarist charts his own course with rock and roll, Indigenous American-style.

Highlights include Free shredding with Steve Stevens on “Bye 2020,” and Stevens adding impressive nylon-string soloing on “My Big Regret.” Christone “Kingfish” Ingram burns like Mississippi on “Judicator Blues,” and Gary Clark, Jr. gets mean as hell on “Woman.” Fronting a muscular rhythm section, Free is front-and-center with mature phrasing, effortless finesse, and songs that hit home. His Santana influence is undeniable on “World On Fire” with Cindy Blackman-Santana on drums – tone for days! No stranger to crunchy guitars, Free’s tone is bulbous and thick, with ample amounts of blues and early-’70s bad-boy swagger like on “Ring of Fire” and “Heaven or Heroin.”


There’s plenty of wah, delay, and overdrive, but Free’s artistry shines through, like on the heartfelt “Blue Memories” and the hypnotic “Heavy Mercy.”

Turquoise Blue finds Free performing with grace, power, and conviction – and his cover of “All Along the Watchtower” is absolutely killin’.

This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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